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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  January 24, 2011 12:00pm-12:30pm EST

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tavis: despite the recent ratification of the nuclear arms treaty, it remains one of the most pressing security issues. first up, one of the leading experts in the field. douglas frantz. the book is called "fallout." and the conversation with former boxing legend rubin hurricane carter. his story was the basis for the film starring denzel washington. we are glad you have joined us. douglas frantz and rubin
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hurricane carter coming up now. >> his name is james in he needs extra help with his reading. >> i am james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference, you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis and remove obstacles to empowerment. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] tavis: douglas frantz is a noted
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author that previously joined us. his new book is called "fallout." good to have you back of this program. getting into the text and some of the other issues, height of your wife is your co-other on this project. how has it been having your wife as the co-author? it is great. she is smart. i am just along for the ride. tavis: let me take these issues separately. the start treaty, a lot of back- and-forth about that, republicans at one point being of that and about supporting it.
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some high-profile americans said it was important to get ratified. the president said that it will make us safer. nobody argues that it was not the right thing to do. in a world of nuclear terrorism, will that make us safer? >> anything that reduces the number of nuclear weapons aimed at us by russia makes us safer. anything that reduces the number of nuclear weapons we aim at russia makes the world safer. it needs to be seen in a legacy of decades of arms control agreements with the russians to try to move us back gradually. tavis: it makes us safer from that particular threat. but in a larger context of a world where nuclear terror is on the rise, are we safer? >> this treaty helps make us
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safer because it increases our cooperation with the russians. through this cooperation, we are able to help the russians secure nukes they have spread. it makes the tactical nukes that the russians have next for negotiations. it shows the world that the countries that have 90% of the nuclear weapons are working together to scale back the threat. it gives us a moral suasion. tavis: i want to come back to those specific questions and those specific countries. if you are right in your assessment, why did the
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president have to work so hard to get it done? >> not only the president, but john kerry had to work. hot itsonable person shouldn't work. this was a serious attempt by certain members of the republican party to deny president obama a major foreign- policy victory. that was the only reason that they objected to this. cooler minds prevailed and we have this treaty. it is going toward a safer world. tavis: i appreciate you contextualizing what the debate was all about. why did you call it this specifically? >> it is a great nuclear term,
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but this is the fallout that came from the first book. it was really about the nuclear trafficking network. and how it helped his own country and build a nuclear weapon with stolen material and how he went on to help iran develop its nuclear weapons program and he was engaged in a full-scale effort to build a weapons factory in libya. that was the first book. this is the fallout from that. this is how the cia brought that network down and how they brought it down. it is not a good story there. it comes to the questions you have about the impact on our safety.
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on the network is dangerous and is radioactive for our future. what happened was, the cia penetrated this network. they knew what they were up to. they just sat back and they watched and waited. there were debates within the intelligence community. they put off that day, they delayed and did not close the network down. by then, what we have discovered is that they were able to get some of the most dangerous regimes, but in the various hiding places along the internet.
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that is the continuing danger and the world is more vulnerable to nuclear terrorism. >> de obama administration does what about that now? >> as much as i admire president obama, who have not done very much. he was put under house arrest in february of 2004 as part of the deal. he and knowledge that he sold nuclear technology. they put him under house arrest. the united states has never been allowed to question him about everything he sold and about to whom he sold it. there is strong circumstantial or evidence that there is -- sundays, pakistan is our ally.
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tavis: it depends on what day it is. when they are our allies, why don't we press them to cooperate with us? >> that is a question we have been asking ever since he was taken into custody in early 2004. the situation is politically sensitive. he is considered the father of the islamic bomb. nobody has the political clout to challenge him and make him available. they are not talking about water boarding the guide. but we try to get to the bottom of just how dangerous his network is. it is one of the key elements of his book, that we expose the extent of the nuclear weapons plans and designs that he sold
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to the world. tavis: what is the threat to this country from pakistan? >> it is enormous. it is the world's most dangerous country. it could fall into internal chaos and some fundamentalists could get control of the nuclear weapons. they will tell you they are under careful guard, but as we saw with the assassination of the governor of punjab, you cannot trust very many people. the security of those nuclear weapons is an enormous threat to the united states. tavis: more dangerous than iran? >> absolutely.
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there are other militant groups a thriving, others are aided by the internal security service. i think it is far more dangerous. tavis: mention al qaeda specifically. >> it has somewhat been inflated. it is not an organization any longer, and while we should try to stop osama bin laden, and they have expressed a desire to get a clear material, i think the threat is much larger and is something that we have contributed to. tavis: "fallout."
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good to have you here. up next, dr. rubin hurricane carter. stay with us. tavis: dr. rubin hurricane carter was falsely accused of murder in 1966. the story became the basis for the denzel washington film. the book is called "high of the hurricane. -- "eye of the hurrican." you all right? you look well. >> got to be. tavis: you have always been in the fashion. ever since you were young. >> my father was a very fashionable person.
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tavis: whwo tur -- who turned you on to boxing? >> in the military. it seems i had a speech impediment. i could not talk for the first 18 years of my life. i would make all kinds of gyrations trying to get a word out. people thought i was funny. [laughter] tavis: what was the speech impediment about? >> i stuttered very badly. i had a million words running through my mind. i was going through gyrations, you know. i did not know that my father and my grandfather stuttered.
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tavis: everybody knows the story of the hurricane. it seems to be happening every other day. it is not happening fast enough whore in a far-reaching enough manner. we see somebody getting out having been imprisoned for years, having been falsely accused. what do you make of that? >> it is because i would not give up. just because a jury of 12 misinform people, misinformed based upon perjury, jailhouse snitches, just because they found me guilty did not make me
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guilty. i refused to act like a guilty person. i refuse to wear the stripes. i refused the eat the food. i refuse -- i would have refused to leave the prison air if i could. >> i have to find a way to get out of that. that is what the eye of the hurricane is all about. >> how we are born into a. that is the reason why denzel washington -- that is why i have been this business for years.
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let me say this. if you are not a lawyer and have not -- when it comes to the criminal justice system, you are being brain-dead. it is about success. successful police officers are promoted. the prosecuting attorney becomes a judge. he goes to a higher court. a successful judge is a careful judge. and not necessarily a wise one. that is what it is all about. that is why there are so many people that are in prison today. when i leave there, i have an interview. he is sitting on death row for 30 years.
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of lot of us are like that. there are holdovers from those days where this country was full of segregation and all that stuff. a lot of us went to prison. tavis: there is a book that came out last year that i was so honored to talk about. out of ohio state, the book called "the new jim crow. it talks about how it represents the new jim crow in america. when you use this phrase, wrongful conviction business, assessed to me how that business is doing. >> there are more than 40 people operating in the united states alone. tavis: we all know barry.
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>> oh, god. there are so many. i don't want to start naming are i will miss them. more people in the united states are in prison. than anywhere else. those that are guilty, we need to get those not guilty out of the prison. they have been in prison for 24 years. we just found out from the prosecution that the dna evidence that was tested did not belong to him, but rather, belonged to someone else. these are the type of people that we need to get out of
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prison. people went to prison during that time. we need to get those people out. tavis: your point notwithstanding, it doesn't mean that you had to commit your life to do that. you are not the first brother to get out of prison. that you would go the rest of your life helping others, a bunch of people say that when they get out. you have dedicated your whole life to this project. what'd you decide to do that. >> i realize how difficult is to get people to listen to the wrongly convicted.
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i have to muhammed ali, a host of other people help me get out of prison. even with this health, i was through the eye of a needle. i said, ok, this is what i should do. i have been immersed in the law for many years. so i will use that talent in order to help other people. that is what i have been doing. >> what about the state of new jersey. >> i don't even fly there. i won't even vital [laughter] over new jersey. -- flyover new jersey. [laughter] but i get to the hudson river,
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the turnover on their backs. >tavis: how do they navigate forward without being better? >> it is very difficult. prison is bitterness and violence and hatred. prison is all of those things, and all those things are imposed upon us. no matter what you are in prison for, whether you are innocent or guilty, it makes no difference. it is the lowest whole of distance that a human being -- in effect everyone. not just prisoners. tavis: a recent people to prison
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to rehabilitate them. gosh that used to be the statement of politicians, but it is no longer that. it is reactive. demonstrating -- [unintelligible] prison today is a out of sight. tavis: what about the present industrial complex being one of the most booming businesses in the country? >> $70 billion a year. who could resist the smell of all that money? that is why the system has become privatized. it is an awful thing.
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schools, libraries, jobs. to be successful and be respectful, where building prisons all over the place. tavis: before i let you go, you mentioned at denzel washington. there are a bunch of people right now that would go to their graves. i am one of them, thinking he got robbed. [laughter] >> he did. it's been years. tavis: what do you make of how that movie came out? as we got closer to oscar voting, stories were twisted and it got funky. >> i told the director when i saw the end of that movie, i
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said, you have left your academy award on the cutting room floor. the movie was three hours long. when they began showing it to private audiences, the feedback or was that the canadians were not developed enough. they had to cut out other stuff. it was a very strong in the moving movie. some of the things that they put in their were wrong. and did not happen. that is why you had all of this. that is why he did not receive his oscar. tavis: probably the best thing of there. the new book is called "eye of the hurricane."
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good to have you on this program. >> the forward is by nelson mandela. don't forget that. tavis: if you will get your book forwarded by anybody. i will see you next time on pbs. thank you for watching. captioned by the national captioning institute >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at >> join me next time for a conversation with actor ed o'neal. >> all i know is his name is james, and he needs extra help with his reading. >> i am james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference -- >> thank you. >> you help us all live better.
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>> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment, one conversation at a time. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more. >> be more.
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